A DIY Ottoman Makeover—With a Twist – Nicole Crowder

As a designer, the question I’m asked most often is where I get my inspiration. And the answer is: from as many sources as possible—from fashion to food, music, and cinema. But some of my favorite inspirations have come from decorative objects I’ve acquired from local markets on my travels: Spanish tiles sourced from Valencia, brightly woven textiles bought at tiny shops in the side streets of Mexico City, and beaded necklaces from the beaches of Thailand. I love spotting the little details on some of these objects that I now have at home, and using those to spark ideas.

Over the past few years, I’ve been collecting mini woven baskets from bazaars as far as Spain and Thailand, and have wanted to design a piece of furniture around them. Well, actually one basket in particular—bought from a market in Brooklyn and made by a Ghanian weaver—that boasts a glorious color combination of deep yellow and teal. A few weeks ago, I came upon the perfect vessel for the project: an old ottoman in need of some love and repair.


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